The Georgia Sports Blog’s Tyler Dawgden is an old friend of mine, though, apparently, not a close enough pal for me to have been invited to whatever confab he attended last weekend. Thanks for nothing, buddy! (I kid, I kid.) Actually, I wouldn’t have fit in with Tyler’s "fairly large contingent of semi-knowledgeable Georgia fans," all of whom were confident the Bulldogs will field an improved offensive line in 2012. In response to such unbridled optimism, I feel it incumbent upon me to offer a
pessimistic realistic retort, in an effort to counteract whatever bad mojo Tyler unwittingly is calling down from on high through his naked hubris (which, you may recall, is the character trait most prominently displayed in the opening acts of Greek plays whose closing acts end unhappily).
Here is why our offensive line will not be better this fall:
- Because we’re Georgia and this is the offensive line, we lack depth and experience. Check out the preseason depth chart. The Bulldogs have no senior linemen on the three-deep, and left tackle is the only position presently expected to have juniors on both the first and second strings. Two sophomores are projected to start, and a true freshman probably will crack the lineup shortly after being issued his UGACard. Chris Burnette, our anticipated first-team right guard, also is our backup center. Burnette is behind a sophomore at center and ahead of a sophomore and a redshirt freshman at guard. Redshirt freshmen are third-stringers at three of five positions. If one guy twists an ankle against Buffalo, all of a sudden, we get very thin up front, and, if it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.
- 60 per cent of last year’s starters are now in the National Football League. The ‘Dawgs lost center Ben Jones to the Houston Texans, tackle (and projected NFL starter) Cordy Glenn to the Buffalo Bills, and tackle Justin Anderson to the Indianapolis Colts. If you think you can lose three NFL-caliber linemen, start three underclassmen, and improve, you probably personally have a vested interest in supporting my libertarian position on a certain pressing social issue.
- Confidence in Mike Bobo is always misplaced. Writes Tyler: “This year, we'll have to be a little less 2011 and a little more 2005. . . . IF we can settle on decent running options and offer some protection by handing the ball off to guys not named Crowell some, that'll open up options to keep defenses from keying on certain types of plays.” Is Mike Bobo still our offensive coordinator? He is? In that case, none of this optimism is warranted. Yes, shrewd play-calling might relieve some of the pressure opposing defensive fronts will put on our novice forward wall, but since when is Coach Bobo adept at that sort of thing? Our big uglies are in big trouble if they’re counting on Coach Bobo to help a blubber out.
In short, pessimism, regarding the offensive line and everything else about University of Georgia athletics, will remain the preferred course in the absence of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. What would be irrefutable evidence to the contrary? A 15-0 record with a 50-0 win over LSU in the SEC Championship Game, a 50-0 win over Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, and a signed, witnessed, and notarized letter hand-delivered by the president of the NCAA, the commissioner of the SEC, and the chief of the Athens-Clarke County Police during the presentation of the crystal football declaring that the Georgia football program and each individual coach and player were in full compliance with all laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations. Short of that, any suggestion that the sky is not falling will be met with scoffing and mockery while we await the arrival of the impending doom each of us knows is inevitable.